Scripture opaque and obscure?

This started out as a very short post to contain nothing but a short quote, but I can’t help myself. For good or for bad?
The loud and demanding rhetoric that has been going around for the past decade or so is that Scripture is absolutely clear about everything – no need for “interpretation,” just do what the plain meaning, those black-n-white words, tell us to do. Yes, yes, this understanding of the thing and place of Scripture, the Holy Bible, has been around for a very long time, but now this attitude is in the ascendancy. Certain segments of the Christian Church have the money and the power to hold the ear of the levers of government and are in the forefront of the Culture Wars. Any deviance from the strict party line equals repudiation of the thing, entirely.
Anyway, I used to be in that camp, and I am thankful for good reasons that some of the influence remains with me. I do have a high view of Scripture and certainly believe it is reasonable to consider that the Bible is more than simply a collection of writings from peoples and cultures from times past trying to figure out their way in the world.
With shock, however, the “truly righteous” among us react with dread and outrage if certain questions are put forward. What, Scripture is not always clear? We fallible humans might actually interpret it wrongly, possibly for centuries if not millennia? God is still revealing His Truth through Scripture by leading us to right (new) understanding? Ambiguous, it might be? Say it isn’t so!
Well, I was reading St. Augustine’s Confessions yesterday and came across this line:
“It is not for nothing that by your will so many pages of scripture are opaque and obscure.” (Book XI:3 for context – Henry Chadwick’s translation)
As the Catechism stipulates:
Q. Why do we call the Holy Scriptures the Word of God?
A. We call them the Word of God because God inspired their human authors and because God still speaks to us through the Bible.
Q. How do we understand the meaning of the Bible?
A. We understand the meaning of the Bible by the help of the Holy Spirit, who guides the Church in the true interpretation of the Scriptures.
Notice, the Holy Spirit does not guide us individually “in the true interpretation of the Scriptures,” but by way of the Church. Not a very American-Christian way of viewing the way it is done, depending on how we want to define, “the Church.” The individualistic nature of American-Christianity doesn’t help much. And, of course, in good Anglican fashion, we use tradition and reason as helps to our understanding of the Word of God.
Then, there is the statement in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral:
“The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as ‘containing all things necessary to salvation,’ and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.”
“Containing all things necessary for salvation…” The Bible is not a history book, not a science book, not a book of anthropology, not a tome of a civilization, despite the understanding that there is history, science (as best understood at the time), and a treasure trove for anthropological information. The purpose of Scripture is not to tell us what to believe about quantum physics, but to be show us what is necessary for salvation and how we humans are to experience “life to the full” by design.
Too many people want to make an idol of the Bible. These same people will often say that they want to live the pure faith like it was lived in the early Church. Well, Augustine’s writings are about as early as we get – he was born in the year of our Lord, 354. Yet, Augustine writes such things!